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doss


Jul 16, 2014, 1:13 PM
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How do I set realistic goals?
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I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?


kennoyce


Jul 16, 2014, 1:45 PM
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Re: [doss] How do I set realistic goals? [In reply to]
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doss wrote:
I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?

First off, get a copy of Rock Climbers Training Manual by the Anderson bros. There's a whole chapter in there on setting goals, but to sum it up for you, choose a route that inspires you as a goal, don't just choose a grade because that is pretty meaningless. If your goal route is way too hard, set intermediate goals of similar style to your primary goal route to help you progress toward your ultimate goal. Good luck and have fun.


lena_chita
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Jul 17, 2014, 8:06 AM
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Re: [doss] How do I set realistic goals? [In reply to]
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doss wrote:
I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?

There is nothing wrong with using grades as your goalposts. Just don't make them your ONLY goal. And yes, they are good fro evaluating performance, too, as long as you keep track of multiple factors.

A lot of guys focus on a specific grade and make a goal of doing ONE climb at that grade, instead of building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades. To achieve that goal of a magic number grade, they pick the softest, easiest climb in that grade that they have been able to find, appealing to them for no reason whatsoever other than the grade, work it to death, and come away with "goal achieved". Meh. You probably haven't improved all that much by doing this sort of thing. If that's what makes you excited, go for it, by all means.


But You can track your performance by other factors, too. For example, maybe there are routes of the grade you have climbed already, but when you first tried them they were impossible for you. Maybe they were in the style that you are not good at. Maybe they had a shut-you-down crux move. Going back to those routes and being able to do them is just as good an indicator of improvement as bumping your best redpoint grade up by one letter. In both cases, you are able to do something you couldn't do before.


doss


Jul 18, 2014, 9:32 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] How do I set realistic goals? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
doss wrote:
I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?

There is nothing wrong with using grades as your goalposts. Just don't make them your ONLY goal. And yes, they are good fro evaluating performance, too, as long as you keep track of multiple factors.

A lot of guys focus on a specific grade and make a goal of doing ONE climb at that grade, instead of building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades. To achieve that goal of a magic number grade, they pick the softest, easiest climb in that grade that they have been able to find, appealing to them for no reason whatsoever other than the grade, work it to death, and come away with "goal achieved". Meh. You probably haven't improved all that much by doing this sort of thing. If that's what makes you excited, go for it, by all means.


But You can track your performance by other factors, too. For example, maybe there are routes of the grade you have climbed already, but when you first tried them they were impossible for you. Maybe they were in the style that you are not good at. Maybe they had a shut-you-down crux move. Going back to those routes and being able to do them is just as good an indicator of improvement as bumping your best redpoint grade up by one letter. In both cases, you are able to do something you couldn't do before.

I love your response, but can you tell me what you meant by "building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades" Mayber give me an example


kennoyce


Jul 18, 2014, 9:43 AM
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Re: [doss] How do I set realistic goals? [In reply to]
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doss wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
doss wrote:
I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?

There is nothing wrong with using grades as your goalposts. Just don't make them your ONLY goal. And yes, they are good fro evaluating performance, too, as long as you keep track of multiple factors.

A lot of guys focus on a specific grade and make a goal of doing ONE climb at that grade, instead of building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades. To achieve that goal of a magic number grade, they pick the softest, easiest climb in that grade that they have been able to find, appealing to them for no reason whatsoever other than the grade, work it to death, and come away with "goal achieved". Meh. You probably haven't improved all that much by doing this sort of thing. If that's what makes you excited, go for it, by all means.


But You can track your performance by other factors, too. For example, maybe there are routes of the grade you have climbed already, but when you first tried them they were impossible for you. Maybe they were in the style that you are not good at. Maybe they had a shut-you-down crux move. Going back to those routes and being able to do them is just as good an indicator of improvement as bumping your best redpoint grade up by one letter. In both cases, you are able to do something you couldn't do before.

I love your response, but can you tell me what you meant by "building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades" Mayber give me an example

If your goal is to climb some 5.12a route, make sure you've climbed at least 2 5.11d routes and 4 5.11c routes and 8 5.11b routes first.


lena_chita
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Jul 18, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Re: [doss] How do I set realistic goals? [In reply to]
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doss wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
doss wrote:
I have been reading a lot on rock climbing websites about training and advancing in climbing. Typically most people say to set realistic goals and work towards those goals but also the same people say not to focus on the grades just to climb. So how do I set a goal to climb better without bringing grades into it evaluate my performance?

There is nothing wrong with using grades as your goalposts. Just don't make them your ONLY goal. And yes, they are good fro evaluating performance, too, as long as you keep track of multiple factors.

A lot of guys focus on a specific grade and make a goal of doing ONE climb at that grade, instead of building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades. To achieve that goal of a magic number grade, they pick the softest, easiest climb in that grade that they have been able to find, appealing to them for no reason whatsoever other than the grade, work it to death, and come away with "goal achieved". Meh. You probably haven't improved all that much by doing this sort of thing. If that's what makes you excited, go for it, by all means.


But You can track your performance by other factors, too. For example, maybe there are routes of the grade you have climbed already, but when you first tried them they were impossible for you. Maybe they were in the style that you are not good at. Maybe they had a shut-you-down crux move. Going back to those routes and being able to do them is just as good an indicator of improvement as bumping your best redpoint grade up by one letter. In both cases, you are able to do something you couldn't do before.

I love your response, but can you tell me what you meant by "building a broad pyramid of climbs at progressively harder grades" Mayber give me an example

The brief answer is what kenny said above, e.g.:

1x12a
2x11d
4x11c
8x11b

Pyramid approach is covered in detail with examples in Self-Coached Climber (highly recommend that you read it, if you haven't), and also discussed in Rock climber training manual that was mentioned up-thread.

Look at the routes that you have sent in the past ~6 months (not hangdogged, not toproped), and put them on the format above. Note which ones you have onsighted/flashed, vs. which ones took you multiple tries.

Then look at the top of your list. If the top looks nothing like the 1x/2x/4x/8x pattern, start picking routes to fill in your pyramid next time you go climbing, instead of just randomly doing this or that.

Common things for new climbers is that they will have their best onsight and best redpoint at the same grade (also common for people who don't care about redpointing and only care about onsighting). But for someone who seriously works on redpointing routes, usually the top 2-3 grades of the pyramid would be all redpoint sends, while some or all climbs at the bottom of the pyramid would be onsights/flashes. Looking at the example above, someone who has redpointed 12a, will be probably able to flash 11b of the same style more often than not.

You can make pyramids for your bouldering and for your rope climbing, you can make it for sport and trad separately, you can make it for different style of climbing (vertical vs overhanging, for example). But the bottom line is that every time you bump to the next level, you don't just go for that top, e.i. I climbed one 12a, now I will try to climb one 12b, but you fill in the base, too.


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